Everything looks perfect from a distance. In the case of Laguna Beach that couldn't have been farther from the truth. Multi-million houses, palaces almost, lined the Southern California coast. An outline to the glittering ocean. A mask to hide what was really there. Deep-seated misery flowing out of a boy's cigarette.
His sickly thin body was draped lazily over patio furniture. He looked up, the sun illuminating the streak of turquoise in his spiky black hair and his matching set of blue-green eyes. He was bathed in sunlight, his already pale skin a transparent milky white, casting an ethereal glow about him. But no one would make the mistake of thinking he was an angel. He had fallen a long time ago.
His eyes changed…anguished.
He was somewhere else. By a rotting hovel of a house perched on the rocky coastline. It was his birthday. He was six and free. Innocent. Happy.
He ran into his father's arms. He felt kisses on his cheeks as his father walked him down to the beach. He giggled as the ocean current lifted them both off the sea floor. The little boy looked up into his father's steel gray eyes and smiled wide enough to break his face. "Thank you daddy."
"I love you, Sam." His father replied, kissing the little boy's hair lovingly.
The water was warm and Sam had never been so happy.
Suddenly everything was cold and the sky was overcast. The rain came down from the sky like liquid bullets. They drops were like ice on Sam's skin. He ran as quickly as his six year old body could carry him. "Daddy!" he screamed.
The lightning illuminated George's house and it was Sam's beacon of hope. "Daddy!"
He crashed into George and he picked Sam up, kissing his head. His mother took him from George's arms. "Let me stay!" He screamed through torrential downpour. George shook his head slowly, his eyes hauntingly sad.
A beautiful house. A step-father, two little step-brothers brothers. Robin, Sam's pretty mother on the living room couch with a baby in her arms. A blond two year old sitting by her. A pepper gray haired man, kissing her cheek.
Sam felt betrayal. She took away his happiness and she was overjoyed about it.
Feeling his step-fathers hands grip his frail arms and look at him with eyes of stone. "I'm sick of your attitude. You should be grateful you live in such a nice house. It's because of me you have food in your stomach. Your dead beat father can't take care of you. You should be thankful for my charity. You should be thankful you have such a loving mother. It's because of her you don't live with your loser dad or on the streets. If it were up to me you wouldn't be here. You're not my son and you'll never be."
The 10 year old boy furrowed his brows. "I don't want you to be my father!"He felt the knife sharpener hit him on the side of his face, a welt rising from his jaw-line up to his cheek.
He was running through the night, his screams of agony breaking the silence.
A couple of boys told him which ones to take. 12 year old Sam reached into the medicine cabinet. Oxycodon in bold letters. Two pills down his throat.
He was so dizzy; he fell in his bedroom, his head smashing into his dresser. His mother found him 20 minutes later with his eyes fixed to the ceiling, a gash on his temple. She held his head in her hands and cried.
Sam was sixteen again, snapped out of his thoughts, a tear of inky black falling down his cheek. He rubbed his eye and his eye-shadow smudged all over his face. And then something in his eyes changed. They turned into emotionless ice. His expression hardened. He rose from the patio chair, standing at his full towering height and kicked the ashtray into the pool. It sunk but the ash from it coated some water on the surface. Little cigarette butts bobbed around in it and he smiled dryly. Maybe one day he'd be one of those broken joints bobbing away in the ocean and not this little pool, drawing his last broken breaths, with his face to the sky remembering the day he turned six and his father took him to the waves.